You come to a break in the forest canopy revealing the midnight sky. Gauze-like clouds veil the full silver moon. The sky is velvet black and deep as a bottomless pool, spangled with cold stars that flicker weakly in the light of the brighter orb. The moonbeams play among the branches of the tree and you notice something wispy-white clinging to the twigs and leaves like drawn-out candy floss.
The path grows darker as you move deeper into the forest. Clouds close over the moon above you like a curtain. You think of the inn on the other side of the woods. Of warm fires and good company. Of food and drink and soft, soft beds. Your pace quickens.
The path ends in an ancient stone archway. On one side trees and brambles crowd up against the forest wall, built by the gentle farmers and herdsmen who live beyond to keep something out--or from your current side "in." You pause to imagine what terrors could merit such a barrier, and the woods fall quiet around you. Too quiet. A shudder cuts through you, and you hurry to the gate.
As you do a wail pierces the night. The clouds part revealing the moon's face once more. A beam pierces from the sky illuminating a silhouette on the horizon, a rider, cloaked in black, his garments fluttering in the breeze. He turns towards you. His hood hides his face, but somehow you can feel his eyes, even over the distance. Your heart chills.
Your racing heart quiets knowing you have escaped, and with a prayer of thanks upon your lips, you hurry along your way, safe in the light of a candle.